Cool to see you trying it out! I'm headed out tomorrow to run head to head tests on iron oxide black vs. Charcoal. The iron oxide balloon rig will already put up a camera, and after the lift tests I'll mail the rigs to you. It should fly fine with a 5kph wind.
Iron oxide black can be purchased as a guache or tempera pigment at artist's supply stores, or for much cheaper/free from pigment supply houses and industries that use it. My supply comes from a friendly concrete factory.
With the clear plastic balloons particulate size really matters. My first charcoal balloon looked much like yours, as I hand ground a charred log and threw it in the balloon. Not too dark, not much lift.
Grinding alone can work, but inever get the balloons uniformly dark. We're depending on static cling to coat the inside, so the ideal system would grind particles super fine and "tribo charge" them, like in a laser printer. ((somewhere i've got some contacts at cabot pigments in massachusetts on the subject of tribo charging, I'll try to pass them along))
My diy solution right now is to grind pigment and then pour it in to the intake of an inflatable mattress pump, blowing pigment in to a mostly inflated balloon. The pump pulverizes (definitely) and slightly charges the particles(I think). I find that coating to be surprisingly durable, even in transit.
I'll have a more formal write-up together soon, but keep up the experiments, your work in Georgia is awesome!
On Jul 24, 2010 2:34 AM, "Jeffrey Warren" <war...@mit.edu> wrote:
sorry, misspell - Mathew Lippincott - see a post about the Portland OR workshop he gave recently here: http://www.headfullofair.com/
On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 1:33 PM, Jeffrey Warren <war...@mit.edu> wrote:
> I just posted about ye...
I forgot to mention carbon black or "lamp black" as a pigment. I haven't run tests on it because my samples haven't arrived yet (8 weeks and waiting...), but I bet it would work great.
> On Jul 24, 2010 2:34 AM, "Jeffrey Warren" <war...@mit.edu> wrote:
> sorry, misspell - Mathew ...
Wow that looks great! Is the lift just a matter of size? If you used the black mulch stuff you could make a gigantic one... also if we look around online maybe we could order some super thin black plastic; I had to do that to find 100 gallon trash bags, for example.
101.15 Notice requirements.
No person may operate an unshielded moored balloon or kite more than
150 feet above the surface of the earth unless, at least 24 hours
before beginning the operation, he gives the following information to
the FAA ATC facility that is nearest to the place of intended
(a) The names and addresses of the owners and operators.
(b) The size of the balloon or the size and weight of the kite.
(c) The location of the operation.
(d) The height above the surface of the earth at which the balloon
or kite is to be operated.
(e) The date, time, and duration of the operation.
Sweet balloon man! Yeah, art stores are not the place to go for pigments, it will kill your budget. Contacting industrial pigment suppliers is the way to go. I'm traveling and can't recall the supplier I got iron oxide black from, but will pass that on. I think also carbon black would work, but cabot pigments never sent me a sample they promised. I'd like to give them another shot though.
On Sep 14, 2010 12:21 PM, "Lentamental" <lentame...@gmail.com> wrote:
At last, all of our parts have arrived. We taped the balloon together, and are just waiting on some good sunny weather. My biggest question is how to powder the inside of the balloon. I was planning on just tossing some powder in as we inflate the balloon with a fan. Then once it is full, shake the balloon a bit to get the powder spread around.
Approximately how much powder did you use? Also have you found any particularly good cheap powders? We ended up buying some overly expensive oil based paint powder, and I don't want to pay that much ever again.
On Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 12:02 PM, Mathew Lippincott <mathew.l...@gmail.com> wrote:
The pigment looks spotty but your construction is excellent, great job!
Tell me more about the pigment- can you send the packaging description? Is it actually oily or meant for suspension in an oil medium? Is it lamp black (often made from the soot of an oil fire)?
Crushing the pigment with a mortar and pestle may help, but if it is very fine already that may not help. I dump pigment through an inflatable mattress blower, which is a little rough on the blower but scatters the pigment very well.
How much pigment do you have? I like overloading the balloon and collecting the excess.
On Sep 19, 2010 9:17 PM, "Lentamental" <lentame...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Mathew Lippincott <mathew.l...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Sweet ...
thanks for the pigment link- we'll have to add bone black to the list of pigments that don't work well. I'm sorry it didn't work for you bit take heart in increasing the knowledge base.
On the same page is mars black, which is iron oxide. I know that will work, but it will be cheaper to get it from an industrial supplier.
As I said before, I'm traveling now but I'll get the name of an industrial supplier when I get home. They probably won't sell us a pound though- I got my samples out of 500lb bags owing to a factory contact. But maybe they'll give us samples. If I can get some more I can mail you a bit. (Don't post your address directly to the list).
On Sep 20, 2010 4:54 PM, "Lentamental" <lentame...@gmail.com> wrote:
The pigment we used was a powder, meant to have oil added to it (which obviously we did not do). It is the second one from the top here: http://www.gamblincolors.com/artists.grade.oils/blacks/index.htmlIt was already very very finely powdered, but it seemed to clump a bit. We basically just poured in a bunch, in a big pile right inside the neck of the balloon, and then blew the 4" box fan across it as it inflated. Perhaps actually dropping the paint through the fan would have helped, but its a really nice brushless nearly silent fan that I don't want to destroy. Once the balloon was mostly inflated, we shook it about, rolled it over and over and over, and even tried rubbing the pigment between two pieces of the plastic, but nothing really worked. We poured 4oz of the pigment in, and by the end, still had at least 3/4 of that in a big pile at the bottom. We bought a full pound of the pigment, thinking it would hold on to a lot more, so we were not skimping on it. The plastic remained fairly translucent, but it was better than nothing.The only place the pigment really stuck was right at the neck, where the plastic was all crinkled.We must have made quite a spectacle of ourselves, because the next day everyone was asking me what I was doing with that big plastic balloon thing.
On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Mathew Lippincott <mathew.l...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The p...